Mamma Mia! Japan opens world’s first Super Nintendo World

Universal Studios Japan have opened the gates to the much anticipated Super Nintendo World in Osaka. Following the alleviation of major covid-19 restrictions in Osaka, Super Nintendo World opened to the public on 18 March and beloved childhood characters are set to raise the people’s spirits after lockdown. 

The park features characters like Mario and Luigi from much-adored Nintendo games and even a points system for visitors. With this, guests can interact with the park and each other using magnetic bracelets called “Power-Up Bands”. 

These bands allow visitors to collect virtual coins as they move through the challenges in the interactive park, before battling the infamous Bowser Jr towards the end of the trip. The visitors’ points can be checked on a phone app and a final point count from each park visit is sent to the guests’ linked Nintendo game console, so people can build their score with more and more visits to the park. Clever!

Super Nintendo World has a mandatory mask and social distancing policy, so the points system is great: it allows fans to feel a sense of community even from a covid-safe distance, almost like being part of a real virtual game.

From dining in the mushroom-themed canteen to trekking through Peach’s Castle, Super Nintendo World offers kids and adults alike the chance to enter into the imaginary world that took centre stage in many a childhood. This funny video by TDR Explorer showcases all the different kinds of artistic and impressively Nintendo-shaped foods that can be found in Kinopio’s Cafe, inside the park. Looking at a menu donned with question box desserts and smiling salads he exclaims “Wow there’s a lot of food…and a lot of mushrooms….I don’t even know what to get!”

Osaka’s park is the first of its kind to host visitors, but Universal Studios Japan mentioned plans to open these attractions in other places, including Hollywood, Orlando, and Singapore. 

Being initially scheduled to open in time for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, this theme park opening was continuously postponed due to covid restrictions. But now, the park has managed to open its magical, story-filled gates in advance of the Olympics which were also pushed back to 2021. 

Some lucky major athletes may get to experience the fully immersive, Mario Kart themed rollercoaster where riders in augmented reality headsets drive beside Princess Peach, throwing shells and steering the way just like in the game.

Hopefully Super Nintendo World, which is open every single day of the year, will soon host visitors from all over the world, giving more people a much needed Mario-themed, silly, happy boost to wash away the year and fears of covid.

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Emma Monaghan

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